Interview: Danny DeVito is Always Funny in Philadelphia

By Quendrith Johnson

Last night horns honked, motorcycles roared and a noisy mob showed up to chant his name. And these folks could barely see the person shouted for: Mr. Danny DeVito. Danny DeVito, Rhea Perlman his wife, and most of the cast of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (Rob McElhenney, Glenn Howerton, Charlie Day) showed up en masse to support the show’s DVD release launch party. Even the press had to brave the throng that congregated just beyond the red carpet outside STK/CoCo deVille in West Hollywood: “DAN-NY, DAN-NY. DAN-NY.” Cellphone cameras flashed, autograph hounds waved various items, even “normal” people stood in awe. Staring. As if Danny DeVito needs any introduction, as a star or producer or as a bona fide five-foot power-packed legend out of Neptune, NJ. Son of an enterprising work-a-holic father, Daniel Michael DeVito, Jr. took the idea of working 24/7 for a living to a whole new plateau after he met a certain upcoming near-unknown actor named Michael Douglas in Connecticut, and the rest is Oscar history.


When DeVito and Rhea Perlman created Jersey Films, they changed movie-goers lives by championing unique projects: Quentin Tarantino’s PULP FICTION, Julia Robert’s Oscar star-turn Eric Brockovich, and the Andy Kaufman homage Man on the Moon (Jim Carrey). All that and DeVito’s most DeVito-like screen burner as the journalist from HUSH HUSH Magazine in Curt Hanson’s LA Confidential… No wonder a crowd has gathered to see him and his Always Sunny gang. A biker on a Harley stopped the proceedings for 20 seconds by revving his V-Twin to such high RMP’s you could barely hear him bellow: “I LOVE YOU MAN! DANNY DEVITO, MAN, I LOVE THIS SHOW.” That’s Danny DeVito in a nutshell; loved by the people, the public and the press. Here’s what we at Fancast wrangled out of him on the noisy red carpet right before the FX/FOX event:

Danny DeVito: Hey-ho!

Q: Hey-ho. So Frank Reynolds, so who is Frank Reynolds?

It’s me. I’m Frank Reynolds. What’s it to ya? No, the thing about it is, it’s a ball doing It’s Always Sunny. We have a great time.

Q: What made you want to work so hard? TV is hard!

Yeah, well, I work hard. I’m a work-a-holic. I work on a million things all the time.

QIs it harder than TAXI, other series you’ve done?

Nah. It’s a lot of fun. It’s like every day.

Q How many pages are you doing a week?

A WEEK? I don’t even think about a week —

Q Okay, a day, how many pages a day?

13, 14, 15 pages a day!

QYou’re kidding, that’s a lot.

No kidding. We’re crazy people.

Q Is that the same for every series you’ve been on, about average?

Nah, nah, this is totally different.

Q More pages, or “sides” as you guys call them —

It’s not like (how many) pages. You can’t think of it like that. You know, it’s just like a lot of fun. You go in. You just wanna have a ball.

Q And hang out?

And hang out.

Q Your relationship with Rob (McElhenney) is good, you guys are side by side here, obviously Rob is like brilliant — so did you find him, did he find you (for the role)?

I found him. I found him.

Q What, you picked him up out of the gutter?

Yeah, he was like in the gutter in Philly just begging for fish heads.

Q That was very nice of you.

Yeah, it was very nice of me.

Q I know you have to go (into the party), but I have an Andy Kaufman question.

Yes. My buddy. [Points skyward.]

Q Yeah, I know… but in terms of working with him, did you know right away he that he was totally off the hook (talented)?

It took about… it took about… it wasn’t right away. It was like maybe two, three hours. But I’d seen him (in comedy clubs), I saw him before we did TAXI — he was doing the bongos, the Saturday Night Live stuff.

Q Who brought him into TAXI?

I think it was like one of the producers.

Q So Andy Kaufman — yeah, G-d rest his soul —

G-d ain’t gonna rest Andy’s soul!

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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